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Kautilya on Administration of Justice During the Fourth Century B.C.

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2009

Balbir S. Sihag
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, Mass 01854.

Extract

Vishnugupta Chanakya Kautilya wrote a treatise called The Arthashastra, which means “science of wealth.” It contains three parts, which deal with issues related to economic development, administration of justice, and foreign relations. It has 150 chapters, which are distributed into fifteen books. Book three, which has twenty chapters and book four, which has thirteen chapters, are devoted to the administration of justice. Kautilya's Judicial System called “Dandaniti,” “the science of law enforcement” is an important part of The Arthashastra. Kautilya codified, modified, and created new laws related to: loans, deposits, pledges, mortgages etc., sale and purchase of property, inheritance and partition of ancestral property, labor contracts, partnership, defamation and assault, theft and violent robbery, and sexual offenses. He dealt with law and justice issues relating to both the civil law and the criminal law. He offered a truly comprehensive system of justice, which not only incorporated all the salient elements of a twenty-first century system but also contained a few additional invaluable insights.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The History of Economics Society 2007

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